What Chip Slump? Korea's Hynix is Soaring

The memory chipmaker came back from near death by boosting output with minimal investment. Challenging Samsung may require a different strategy

This year has been brutal on memory-chip companies. The notoriously cyclical industry is plagued with a supply glut and plunging prices for chips storing data, images, and videos on PCs and electronic devices. Taipei-based DRAMeXchange, which tracks semiconductor trends, reckons spot market prices for chips largely used for computer memory have dropped 84% so far this year. Yet visit the offices and factories at South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor (HXSCF), the world's second-largest memory chipmaker, and there's a conspicuous lack of gloom. "I'm most proud of the upbeat morale and can-do spirit shared by all the employees," says Hynix Chief Executive Kim Jong Kap.

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